Many cruises market themselves as an experience for the entire family. From onboard activities catered to the young and the young at heart, to ports of call that hold something exciting for every age range, these cruises really do appear to offer the best of all worlds. After all, what could be better than finding a vacation that suits all of your loved ones?
While it can be a relief to choose a cruise that promises fun for everyone in your group, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that you are still responsible for ensuring that your children are safe at all times. Even the most family friendly cruise line can pose a hazard to little ones. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that you maintain a watchful eye over all of your traveling companions. A recent story reminds us of this.
On August 4, a toddler fell from a balcony aboard the Carnival Breeze. According to reports, the accident occurred as the ship sailed from Galveston, Texas to the Bahamas. The 3-year-old girl tumbled from the balcony of her stateroom to an outdoor deck, one floor below.
During the fall, the child did sustain injuries to her face. She was then medevaced to a nearby hospital for treatment. She was last listed in stable condition.
In the wake of this accident, we send our best wishes to the child and her family, in the hopes that she will make a speedy and full recovery. However, we are also left wondering how this accident could have been avoided? After all, no one should have to worry about the possibility of their child falling from the stateroom balcony. This story will likely have a happy ending, as it sounds that the toddler is on the mend. However, that is not always the case.
Is the Cruise Ship to Blame?
The fact that a 3-year-old could fall from a balcony implies that there is an opportunity for the cruise line to reevaluate the safety and function of balcony railings. Were the slats wide enough for a child to squeeze through? If so, now may be the time to reconsider what needs to be done to improve safety for all cruise ship passengers. All cruises, especially those that claim to serve the entire family, should take into account the potential hazards involved with catering to such a broad span of ages. What is safe for adults is not always safe for children. Unfortunately, it seems the cruise had to learn this lesson the hard way–with one of their passengers becoming injured in the process.
This is not the first accident to take place aboard a cruise, and we know it will not be the last. Our team has helped countless individuals navigate the tricky legal waters and we are prepared to do the same for you. Speaking with a maritime lawyer may be exactly what you need to get the wheels in motion, so you can get back to living your life.